All-Clear After Bomb Scare at Crossroads Shopping Center (UPDATE)
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A man spotted driving a car on Broadway in Rochester exposing himself and performing lewd acts brought the Bloomington Bomb Squad to the Crossroads Shopping Center Wednesday afternoon.
Responding to reports of the man’s behavior during the noon hour, Rochester police attempted to stop his car and then chased him into the shopping center parking lot, where he stopped and was arrested at gunpoint in an area between the Home Federal Bank office and the Outback Restaurant.
Police then learned the vehicle was connected to an earlier disturbance at the Twin Cities airport, where witnesses told police a man had been yelling about a bomb. That led Rochester police to bring in a specially trained K9 officer and the dog alerted to the possibility of explosives in the man’s vehicle. Soon after, the shopping center was evacuated and the stretch of South Broadway between 12th Street and 16th Street was closed to traffic as a precaution while the bomb squad traveled to Rochester to inspect the car.
Shortly before 4:30 p.m. the all-clear was sounded and police announced the reopening of South Broadway and the shopping center.
(previous version of story)
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The section of South Broadway that runs past the Crossroads Shopping Center in Rochester has been closed to traffic while Rochester Police wait for the arrival of the Bloomington Bomb Squad.
Reports indicate a vehicle parked between Home Federal Bank and the Outback Steakhouse has been linked to an investigation into bomb threats at the Twin Cities airport, and a police dog brought to the scene alerted authorities to the possibility of explosives in the vehicle.
A Rochester Fire Department spokesman says a visual inspection suggested there was the potential for up to 50 pounds of explosive material in the car, and that has prompted an evacuation of many of the businesses and the entire parking lot at the shopping center as a precaution.
Earlier reports indicated the car was chased into the parking lot by police after they received a report from another motorist that the driver of the vehicle was exposing himself and performing lewd acts.
The closure of South Broadway extends from 16th street north to 12th street. Students at the nearby Friedell Middle School are boarding their buses at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds to avoid traveling on Broadway.